Jan. 03, 2024

By State Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Lehigh)
I have introduced legislation in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to help combat deepfake sexual exploitation, which is the malicious manipulation of benign photos or videos to target victims online, including children. Unscrupulous actors are using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to create pornographic images of individuals without their knowledge or consent.

It happened last year to several female students at a New Jersey high school. Their photos were used by a classmate to create fake pornographic images. The story garnered national media attention and led New Jersey state lawmakers to work on legislation that would create penalties for “deepfake porn.”

While the unauthorized dissemination of an intimate image is unlawful here in Pennsylvania under the state’s “revenge porn” law, it is far from clear whether the use of deepfake technology to circulate a sexual image of an AI-generated, non-consenting person is prohibited.

My legislation, House Bill 1063, would make certain that the use of AI technology to create pornographic images without another person’s consent is against the law. It would also prohibit the use of AI technology to create deepfake child pornography.

Offenses would be a first-degree misdemeanor when the individual depicted is a minor, and a second-degree misdemeanor when the victim is an adult. This is commonsense legislation that would help protect individuals in Pennsylvania from becoming victims of this growing, high-tech crime which causes considerable harm to individuals.

It is important the proposal becomes law to ensure deepfake sexual exploitation is against the law in Pennsylvania. We should be doing more to stand up for victims of this horrible crime.

Representative Ryan Mackenzie
187th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Andy Briggs
RepMackenzie.com / Facebook.com/RepMackenzie